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Jim Curtin Pre Portland

Jim Curtin spoke to the media ahead of the Philadelphia Union's trip to the Portland Timbers on Sunday night.

After Tuesday's draw against Inter Miami, the Union regained their spot at the top of the Eastern Conference. However, the 0-0 draw meant that they were now seven games without a win in all competitions. They have drawn five of their last six in the MLS.

Curtin realises they are in a good position despite their unique form, but he wants his side to get back on track in Portland. He is confident that they can do that if they continue to create the volume of opportunities in front of goal.

"We're in a good spot, and we know that we can be better. I apologise to the fans for not getting it done on Wednesday. I know that this group will have a good response as we go on the road for these next two games before the break.

"Win, lose or draw; we want to play like ourselves. We've been a team that doesn't concede goals, and we're first in not conceding goals this season. That's what our foundation is. With the chances, if we continue to make them, we will hit the back of the net, and I'm fully confident in that. As we get some personnel back and healthy, I think that will improve."

Portland's start to the season has been indifferent. They have struggled to get the gears moving in this MLS season as they sit in tenth place of the Western Conference with 15 points.

Their season to date has been summed up by their last two games, where they beat Kansas City 7-2 and then lost 3-2 to the San Jose Earthquakes. Despite the inconsistency, Curtin is looking forward to taking on a tough opponent that will be backed by great support.

"We look forward to a really tough matchup against Portland. It's a great stadium, a great stadium to play in, and they have a great fanbase. They're a well coached team with Gio [Savarese], and they're a team that's probably not happy with their result on Wednesday night.

"If you go back a week, they scored seven goals against Kansas City, so we have to face a very dynamic and explosive team that can hurt you. We will have to be at the top of our game to bring points back to Philly."

Julian Carranza will be available after being ineligible to face his parent club on Wednesday night. However, Mikael Uhre will remain out as his quad continues to cause him problems.

"He trained out on the field today, but on the side, not with the rest of the team yet. He won't be making the trip to Portland, unfortunately. We will try to shoot for New England, and then there's the break after that.

"We certainly miss him, and we need him back as quickly as possible."

With the summer transfer window quickly approaching, the rumours for MLS players to go over to Europe have heated up. There has been speculation this week connecting Kai Wagner to relegation-threatened Leeds United.

Curtin is an advocate for his players going on to play the game at the highest of levels, and the interest in the German left-back does not surprise him.

"There've been all these rumours around Kai, but nothing is concrete. Selfishly, as a coach, I'd love to keep him here in Philly. However, we will see. There are always reports, but as I said, nothing is 100% in this game.

"I'm not surprised that there's interest as he's a quality player, but he's a Philadelphia Union player till the summer at least. I'd love to keep him as he's so important to our defence, and that's the strength of our team."

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